An Abbotsford banquet hall filled with more than 150 members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) was silent as Diane Sowden, executive director of Children of the Street Society, recently shared her story.
Sowden’s daughter was just 13 years old when she was drawn into a life of drug addiction and sold on the Downtown Eastside in an area known as the Kiddie Stroll.
From this experience and her training as a certified family support worker, Sowden now works to educate and raise awareness about this issue while providing support for children and families already affected by sexual exploitation.
Following Sowden’s presentation, Gerry Acton, provincial charities coordinator for the B.C. FOE, announced a $5,000 donation to support the society’s annual awareness campaign.
In addition to this gift, Eagle members attending the banquet gave over $600 in donations to acquire the society’s new daisy lapel pins, which serve as a visual symbol to end the sexual exploitation of children and youth.